Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dennis Prager and Howard Zinn

The Dennis Prager Show:

"DP: And take, for example, Korea.

HZ: Yes.

DP: I believe that we fought in Korea in order to enable at least half of that benighted peninsula to live in relative freedom and prosperity, and the half that we did not liberate is living in the nightmare—almost Nazi-like condition—of the North Korean government.

HZ: Yeah, well....

DP: Why don’t you see that as a great good that Americans did?

HZ: Well, I think that it’s....your description of the North Korean government is accurate. It’s sort of a monstrous government. But when we went to war in Korea the result of that war was the deaths of several million people. And I question, you know, whether the deaths of those several million people—Koreans; of course maybe 55,000 Americans—was worth the result. Because the immediate result was to leave the dictatorship in place in North Korea and to leave a dictatorship in place in South Korea. Remember, at that time, South Korea was not a democracy. South Korea was a dictatorship just as North Korea was. And we had gone through three years of war with all these people dying, and at the end of it, we were back where we started. Now, there are brutal regimes around the world, like the North Korean regime. But what I’m saying is I don’t think the answer to these brutal regimes is wars which kill large numbers of people. I think we have to find ways of undermining brutal regimes over a period of time, letting people themselves build up their own resistance. This is what’s happened in the Soviet Union. We didn’t destroy Stalinism by going to war....

DP: Well, alright. Let’s stick....forgive me....Professor, let me just stick to Korea for a moment.

HZ: Sure.

DP: Do you....this is why I mean....I just want to understand where we differ. Do you believe if America had never intervened, do we both agree that Kim Il-sung—the psychopathic dictator of North Korea—would have ruled over the entire Korean peninsula?

HZ: Um....probably. I think that’s probably true.

DP: Okay. Do you believe that that would be a net moral or immoral result for the Korean people and the world?

HZ: Well, there were two immoral results. That would have been an immoral result, but the result of the war itself was also immoral—and I’m talking about the killing of several million people. And what I’m suggesting is that the answer to tyranny—the tyranny of North Korea, whether it existed just there or it moved to South Korea—the answer to tyrannies like that is not war, which in our time always involves the massive killing of innocent people. I mean, that’s what war is. And I think we have to find ways other than war to get rid of dictatorships and tyrannies.

DP: Well, I would love that. But this is where we often consider people on the Left, at best, to be na├»ve. There aren’t peaceful ways to get rid of a Kim Jong-il or a Kim Il-sung."

I agree with Prager.

No comments:

Interesting Stuff